Guns

Instapundit on What the Gun Rights Revolution Says About Political Action

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Glenn Reynolds in the Washington Examiner on the lessons of McDonald and the actions that led to a pro-gun-rights ruling that was unthinkable in recent memory.

In little more than 15 years, we've seen an amazing turnaround on an issue where the "establishment" side had broad support from politicians (in both parties, really) and almost universal support from the media. Gun control now is nearly dead as an issue, and the "establishment" view that the Second Amendment didn't protect any sort of individual right, but merely a right of states to have national guards, did not get the support of a single Supreme Court justice.

So what's the lesson for today? It's that activism matters.

Now the issue on which activists differ from the establishment is the size of government. Politicians (in both parties, really) are pretty happy with big government. In this, they have the near-universal support of the media (now using covert e-mail lists to agree on how to slant their stories).

But if people care about shrinking government as much as gun rights activists care about protecting the Second Amendment, then this situation, too, can see a turnaround.

Whole bit here.

Reason on guns and Second Amendment.

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  1. Gun control now is nearly dead as an issue…

    Nearly, but never completely. Where there is special interest money or political power to be had, anything can be made into or ressurected as an issue.

    1. Gun control now is nearly dead as an issue

      Bullshit. Tell that the people in Chicago or DC, who had total bans replaced with near-total bans with tiny exceptions.

      1. Exactly. How can someone even say that with a straight face? Shit, even the SCOTUS didn’t rule out “reasonable” restrictions.

        1. And what’s wrong with that? It empowers local government. Isn’t local government the best government in libertopia?

          1. Jim Crow also empowers local government.

            1. Jim Crow is a violation of the Constitution bud.

  2. I’m not sure I would use the word activism to describe securing rights already protected by the Constitution. There’s almost a tone of supporting or cheering on judicial activism, or social activism, or any other activism that traditionally isn’t in the interest of personal liberty and freedom.

    1. In this context, would you be more comfortable replacing the term “activism” with “eternal vigilance”?

      1. Na. I’d just rather stay away from the hyperbole of either side. “Activism” is used to usurp more rights than it restores.

        1. That is unless I’m trolling or making an ass of myself, then it’s all hyperbole all the time.

    2. Actually, these were not rights protected by the Constitution… that is until now. Though I agree with the ruling, I can’t say the dissents don’t have persuasive arguments.

      1. I can. If you actually have read what the various Framers and contemporaries wrote at the time, the scholarly writing on individual rights versus the powers of government, the Congressional record at the time of the introduction of the 14th Amendment, and various SCOTUS cases from the first 100+ years in which the individual right to arms was discussed, it’s quite clear that everyone understood the 2A to protect an individual right to own firearms. And it’s also quite clear that the 14th was meant to apply, at a minimum, all of the rights in the BoR against state action.

        The dissents have very disingenuous anc creative, progressive arguments that have very little relation to factual history.

        1. Very little gets to SCOTUS that doesn’t have persuasive case law on either side. There is no ultimate “right” answer to these type of questions.

  3. Does this article imply that perhaps activism could get Reason to stop linking to glibertarian Glenn Reynolds?

    1. That is right fluffy, stop linking to anyone not on the approved list. That is very free thinking of you. Do you run Democratic Underground?

      http://www.washingtonexaminer……04504.html

      1. Here are some more samples of the ludicrous list of rules violations:
        * “Telling someone to ‘shut up,’ ‘screw you,’ ‘go away,’ ‘f–k off,’ or the like;” …
        * Insensitivity, which includes “weight or other physical characteristics” and “use of insensitive terminology.” …

        Philistines!

        1. Watch that.

      2. Oh, I don’t know. Sometimes the left-wing press actually make themselves useful.

        All things in moderation, as they say…

      3. That’s funny. Last time I checked, Reason never, ever, ever links to Rockwell.

        So apparently they’re applying some sort of criteria before linking. Criteria that says that Rockwell isn’t an acceptable libertarian, but InstaTorture is.

        Maybe they could spell those criteria out for us, so we can have more information about them.

        1. I think there was a link to Lew Rockwell a few weeks ago. Damned if I remember what it was, though.

        2. They’ve never linked to Lonewacko either. Discrimination!

        3. Fluffy, Reason regularly links to Glenn Greenwald, the scumbag, who recently compared the US invasion of Iraq to the Nazi conquest of Europe, while trying to diminish the fact that the Iraqi Kurds benefited from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. And we don’t typically throw a tantrum when Greenwald is linked here. You know, tolerance is under-appreciated.

          1. In off the moors, down through the mist bands, God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping. The bane of the race of men roamed forth, hunting for prey in the high hall.

      4. That’s freakin’ classic. The liberals continue to reinforce every bad thing said about them. If they had the power they would have totalitarian rules for the media and social discourse as well.

    2. Awww, did Glenn Reynolds make fun of your dancing?

    3. No need to get thine panties a twist; Reason links to Thomas Sowell all the time and he’s a torture supporter.

      1. The purges must start somewhere, tovarich.

  4. On the second of November the incumbents will appreciate “activism.”

    1. Good article. At it’s inception, I was wondering how the Euro would work when they still had individual central banks pursuing different monetary policies.

    2. Good article.

      Hat tip.

    3. What makes one a “renegade” professor?

      Main Entry: 3renegade
      Function: adjective
      Date: 1705

      1 : having deserted a faith, cause, or religion for a hostile one
      2 : having rejected tradition : unconventional

    4. Reading the article, it seems that the primary motivation of these guys was to preserve the German welfare state.

      The big giveaway was that business of the dangers of monetary union prior to political union. That’s only true if for a fiat currency.

      The late 19th century, for instance, had numerous countries on a gold standard, and it was a time of ever increasing prosperity despite the fact that numerous countries were using effectively the same currency.

  5. Did that passing reference to “covert e-mail lists to agree on how to slant their stories” jump out at anyone else, or was it just me? Common knowledge? Did I miss that memo?

    1. It’s common knowledge. Refer to: Weigel-gate

      1. L’Affaire Weigel?

    2. I believe he was referring to the Gulf of Weigel Incident.

      1. Gulf of Weigel Incident.

        Excellent work my good fellow. 🙂

    3. Not to mention the girl on Morning Joe admitted on the air to getting her talking points from the White House.

  6. Morning Links!

    Drudge has that story about the photographer being detained by police, seemingly at the behest of BP.

    1. Next he needs to show the ones being detained at the Metro rail station.

      1. You don’t tell Drudge what’s newsworthy. Drudge tells you what’s newsworthy.

        1. Speaking of, fuck Google News and its one-size-fits-all new format.

  7. This post is a cause for optimism, but, face it, the next issue will not be “size of government.” Let’s face it, that’s as nebulous as our goals in Afghanistan. No, our next focus should be on ending the War on Drugs. Notice I didn’t say we should reduce the size of the War on Drugs.

    1. Remove a “face it.” Thanks.

    2. Second

    3. To end the War on Drugs will be to reduce the size of government — at least, until the ruling class figures out another pretext for enlarging it.

      Carry on.

  8. The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday announced that it was investigating whether Transocean had exploited tax laws by moving overseas to avoid paying taxes in the United States. Efforts to curtail the tax breaks are likely to face fierce opposition in Congress; the oil and natural gas industry has spent $340 million on lobbyists since 2008, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which monitors political spending.

    NYT

    Of course, the Times is appalled that the oil industry would lobby the Congress to get special tax breaks, while completely glossing over the fact that the Congress grants them. Apparently, Congressmen in the presence of oil industry lobbyists are as helpless as four-year-olds looking at a box of sugary cereal with Hello Kitty on the front.

    What could have been a good starting point for an article about streamlining the tax code ends up as another “bash the evil oil companies” puff piece.

    1. Well it is not like the people in Congress are human or anything.

      1. Several hundred Congressmen voted against the Energy Act of 2005 – for good reason.

        “It also includes an estimated $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks for most forms of energy — including oil and gas, “clean coal,” ethanol, electricity, and solar and wind power. The nuclear industry got subsidies for research, waste reprocessing, construction, operation and even decommission. The petroleum industry got new incentives to drill in the Gulf of Mexico — as if $60-a-barrel oil wasn’t enough of an incentive. The already-subsidized ethanol industry got a federal mandate that will nearly double its output by 2012 — as well as new subsidies to develop ethanol from other sources.”

        (WaPost)

        They have cause to complain about a shitty bill they opposed.

        1. Wait…you’re against subsidies now?

          1. It’s Christians and the Vatican-Industrial complex (he had a much more shrilly poetic phrase for it) that send shrike into conniptions, not fiscal conservatism.

            1. bullshit.

              I hate the state/church dynamo at least as much as the state/corporate dynamo.

              They both suck our life out while the GOP benefits.

              1. I’m so glad the Democrats have put an end to that now! *snicker*

              2. Oh, please. Your relatively restrained response on this issue is nothing like the hateful, emotionally-charged comments you post about religion.

              3. But I do love the state dynamo. I pleasure myself to thoughts of a totally government-controlled economy.

              4. But the Dems don’t, right? I mean, there are NO Democrats who own, work for or are close friends with people who own or work for corporations. And certainly no Democrat politicians ever have received financial support from or benefited in any way from their relationships with corporations.

                You’re such a massive fucking hypocrite, it nauseates me.

  9. Isnt it about time for another revolution?

    Lou
    http://www.total-anonymity.es.tc

    1. Take it easy, Skynet. It’s not time for the singularity quite yet.

    2. No Jo, no it’s not.

  10. Is “smaller government” an adequate revolutionary slogan?

    1. no.. but try..
      FREEEDOM!

      or perhaps..
      THIS IS… SPARTAAAA!

      1. COME AND TAKE THEM!

        1. I was thinking along the lines of “no government,” but I realize that ain’t gonna happen either, because the majority will always see government as their source of “free” money.

          1. Despite all the criticism, the government skools are very effective in their prime mission: teaching the public to fear, and even to love, the State and to believe in its practical and moral necessity.

            A campaign along the lines of “no government” would certainly fail.

        2. IT’S A COOKBOOK!

          1. TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!

          2. IT’S A COOKBOOK!

            FTW!

          3. SERVE MAN (REGULAR)
            SERVE MAN (IRONIC)

  11. But if people care about shrinking government as much as gun rights activists care about protecting the Second Amendment, then this situation, too, can see a turnaround.

    Too bad that people don’t. A lot of them have some specific slice of government they want to shrink, but few want it across the board. Even among those who yell it the loudest.

  12. Wayne Allyn Root earns some Drudge traffic, as well, with this assessment of what is turning out to be the true Obama legacy.

  13. In the wake of Heller and McDonald, the gun control lobby can always turn to privatized local governments to restrict our Second Amendment rights, which can be waived with fine print in an adhesion contract; even if the adhesion contract was mandated by the government, and can be amended by one party at any time after signing.

    It’s Time To Regulate Homeowners Associations And Protect Property Rights In Texas

    May 22, 2010

    . . .

    In Pflugerville, Andrew Clements has become the target of persecution from the board of the Falcon Pointe subdivision because of his politically incorrect career choice. No, he’s not skinning animals in the front yard or building his own nuclear reactor. He’s running an Internet business where no customers come to his house and nothing he does is visible to his neighbors. Yet he has been threatened by his Homeowners Association and prohibited from earning a living as he chooses, despite the fact that there were no rules prohibiting home businesses in the neighborhood at the time he bought his home.

    Clements’ great transgression is that his business of choice ? his method of earning a living in these lean times ? is to sell firearms to hunters and law enforcement. It’s a perfectly legal business. He has the right permits from the federal government. He has broken no state or federal laws and his business is protected by both the Second and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. But none of that seems to protect him from the Falcon Point HOA which has passed a rule specifically prohibiting residents from buying and selling firearms in the neighborhood, a rule written specifically to target just one homehowner, Andrew Clements.

    When Bill Clinton enacted regulations to drive 70% of FFL dealers out of business — most of them home based — gun rights activists recognized this as part of a strategy to restrict private firearms ownership by choking the supply channels. Disclosure: I was one of those home-based FFL dealers “Clinton’ed” out of business.

    Yet when a privatized corporate government does the same thing, the silence is deafening.

    Will gun rights activists support gun control as long as the path is The Privatized Toll Road to Serfdom?

    1. When our HOA came after me for a cosmetic violation, I told them I would get my family and friends to inspect every square inch of their community property and demand repairs using their own guidelines and demand immediate repairs of any deficiencies. Of course using the building department for any code violations. Have not heard from them since.

    2. Don’t buy a house in an HOA.

      Seriously. I’m not just being a dick.

      If massive numbers of people stop buying houses in HOA’s, the problem will solve itself.

      1. I agree for the most part Fluffy but when I bought, a million dollar home was a 1500 sq. foot 50+ year old home along the beach compared to a new home several times larger with none of the repairs needed to make it “livable”. For us the HOA was a known evil but the benefits out-weighed the alternative.

      2. Bizarro Fluffy, arguing against the ruling in McDonald v Chicago:

        Don’t buy a house or rent an apartment in Chicago or Oak Park.

        If massive numbers of people stop buying houses and renting apartments in Chicago or Oak Park, the problem will solve itself.

      3. The point being, that an HOA that is empowered to change the rules of homeownership at any time, and a local government, are equally capable of destroying liberty within their jurisdictions. In fact, since the HOA isn’t bound by any sort of constitution or bill of rights, it’s even more dangerous in some ways.

        1. You sound like Joe from Lowell complaining that he can’t hold a protest in a shopping mall.

          Personally, I think our real property system is kind of fucked up. And that allowing transfers of property that include deed restrictions makes a mockery of the concept of “property”. But that’s the property system we’ve got. Your liberty is not threatened by the fact that you voluntarily enter into a contract that places your ownership of a piece of property in perpetual jeopardy.

          1. Couldn’t the same be said of any local government? You implicitly agree to whatever restrictions are imposed by the government that has jurisdiction over your property when you buy it. An HOA basically is a mini-government.

            1. Nope. I used to argue this incessently with Dan T, back in the days of yore, before I incifed his ass.

              An HoA is a contract. Period. They cant arrest me. They can put a lien on my property, but only under the terms I agreed to.

              /Lived under HoA (condo) until 2.5 years ago
              //House isnt in one!!!

              1. Actually they can arrest you; remember that guy in Fla who got thrown in jail for having a brown lawn?

                1. Actually they can arrest you; remember that guy in Fla who got thrown in jail for having a brown lawn?
                  reply to this
                  And what authority did they have over conducting arrests?

              2. > An HoA is a contract. Period. They cant arrest me.
                > They can put a lien on my property,
                > but only under the terms I agreed to.

                Neither the home seller nor home buyer have the right to negotiate the terms of the adhesion contract.

                * The adhesion contract is usually fine print presented to a home buyer at closing, along with the stack of other papers. Fine print, legalese, lack of informed consent, etc. fails the basic tenants of Rational Choice Theory. If your position is that anything is permissible as long as it’s in a document called a contract, then people could be allowed to contract themselves into slavery (whether peon or chattel).

                Back to the original topic of gun control, could the fine print presented to you at closing prohibit you from keeping and bearing arms in your home?

                * Not all homeowners signed a contract. The “contract” can be a deed restriction filed by the developer with the county, and have the force of a contract because it was “publicly posted” in some filing cabinet at the county office. Listen to the “On the Commons” interview with Robert Metcalf, July 07, 2007 (13:45 – 14:20 and 17:20 – 18:35 and 38:55 – 40:10). Metcalf was the treasurer of his HOA corporation, and is the author of “Position Statement On Common Interest Developments” (PDF).

                * As for the assertion that an HOA corporation can only do what you (may or may not have) agreed to, HOA adhesion contracts can be unilaterally amended by one party, and that one party is not the homeowner. The adhesion contract that is currently in force may not be the some one that the homeowner originally signed, because the adhesion contract will have a provision allowing the Board of Directors to change the operating rules at any time.

                The HOA corporate Board of Directors can also negotiate contracts with property management firms, attorneys, and other vendors that you are bound to, using the equity in your home as collateral, without any input from you or any other homeowner.

                Courts and legislatures have also been allowing HOA corporations to amendment the original CC&Rs; without approval of the homeowners. Listen to the “On the Commons” interview with former HOA lawyer Evan McKenzie, June 26, 2010 (43:30 – 49:55).

                The original purpose of allowing unilateral amendments to the CC&Rs; was to remove the race restrictive covenants that have been unenforceable since 1948 (Shelley vs. Kraemer). But, like public governments, privatized corporate governments have used whatever means they have available to expand their power, at the expense of the individual, and lead us down The Privatized Toll Road To Serfdom.

                1. > Courts and legislatures have also
                  > been allowing HOA corporations
                  > to amendment the original CC&Rs;
                  > without approval of the homeowners.

                  In addition to the Evan McKenzie interview I cited above, I just came across this web page by an HOA law firm about amending governing documents (emphasis added):

                  * Court Petition. If you are unable to obtain the required approvals, we can help you obtain court approval of your amendments ? a process through which we’ve guided numerous associations. A provision in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) allows courts to approve amendments to community association declarations. If at least half of the required percentage of owners approves the amendment, we can petition the court for official approval.

                  Note that “at least half of the required percentage of owners” is not 50% of the homeowners, but 50% of a quorum. If a quorum is 2/3 of the homeowners, then a majority of a quorum is 1/3 of the homeowners + 1.

                  Therefore, “half of the required percentage of owners” is 1/6 of the homeowners, or 16.7%. How hard do you think it is rig an election to get 16.7% of the vote, especially when the HOA corporate board of directors collects and counts the ballots, and can unilaterally disenfranchise individual homeowners from voting simply by sending them a violation notice?

      4. > Don’t buy a house in an HOA.
        > Seriously. I’m not just being a dick.
        > If massive numbers of people stop buying houses in HOA’s,
        > the problem will solve itself.

        Fluffy,

        I know we discussed this before, at the “Just Who The Hell Is A Libertarian Anyway?” thread.

        Putting aside the philosophical discussion of whether HOA adhesion contracts pass the tests of Rational Choice Theory and are truly voluntary, in the real world local governments have been mandating (either literally or through incentives) that almost all new housing built be governed by an HOA adhesion contract, leaving consumers of new homes — say, less than 20 or 30 years old — with little choice. Neither home sellers nor home buyers have the right to negotiate the terms of the HOA adhesion contract.

        If HOA corporations were truly the result of libertarian free-market capitalism instead of public policies, then something would be seriously wrong with libertarian free-market capitalism.

        But back to my original point about gun control, which no one has addressed yet:

        Now that the Second Amendment must be applied to states and municipalities, why shouldn’t the gun control lobby start working with HOA corporations to create gun-free privatized neighborhoods? At first, they could persuade sympathetic HOA corprations to do so, in order to set precedent for use later on. Since Heller and McDonald does not apply the Second Amendment to private corporations, 60 million Americans — 1/5 of the population — could effectively be denied the right to keep and bear arms with a proper and strategic application of contract law.

        If the Falcon Pointe HOA corporation in Texas(!) can enact a form of gun control without any negative reaction from gun-rights activists, the gun control lobby would be foolish to not consider The Privatized Toll Road To Serfdom as a path to achieving their goals.

      5. I agree with Fluffy’s general admonition not to buy a house in an HOA. Our last house was and our current one is in a subdivision run by an HOA. I was on the board for the first three years after we moved in – not because I’m the typical HOA “nazi,” but purely as a self-defense measure. I figured that by being on the board , I would get to know who else was on the board and committees, who “ran things,” get to know the general lay of the land, so to speak – and hopefully, keep my oar in to prevent the board from doing really stupid things – like mandating that nobody grass could be more than six inches tall. Yes, I stopped that one.

        Thankfully, my term expired and I’m no longer dealing with that nightmare. What I found is that most of the people in my current neighborhood mostly just want to be left alone, and the board is made up of those same people. But there’s always one or two schmucks in the neighborhood, right? In our case, the biggest asshole in the community lives directly across the street from ME.

        I can’t wait to move. The primary reason we moved to where we are was because the public schools are very good here, and the property values quite high. And about 90% or more of the houses in the area are in HOA neighborhoods – you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find a decent house NOT in one. And the property values are higher in them, because most people want it. Not me. Once our younger daughter is in her senior year of high school (6 years from now), we’re getting the hell out. I’ll be looking for as much acreage as I can afford in the next county over, with as much privacy as possible.

        Until then, it’s a pain in the ass. Want to put something other than “approved” materials on your roof? Forget about it. Want to build a playhouse or shed? Be prepared to pay a $75 application fee and wait at least an extra month for “approval.” And on and on…

        1. > And the property values are higher in them, because most people want it.

          WTF,

          I’ve already addressed the argument that people want HOAs in this thread and the other one. Long story short: the growth in HOAs is supply driven by government policies incentivizing and/or mandating the existence of HOAs, creating a massive distortion of the housing market. Therefore, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to know to what extent it has been demand-driven by consumers, who have been left with fewer choices by the developers and municipalities.

          As for the mantra that HOAs increase property values, I have found very little evidence of that. Since Hit & Run only allows two links per comment, click here for the links to the following studies.

          * “What Are Private Governments Worth” Amanda Agan and Alexander Tabarrok. George Mason University. Fall 2005.

          Agan and Tabarook conclude that HOAs increase home values 5% – 6%. However, they appear to have had a pro-HOA bias from the beginning. They also assume, but don’t prove, that the increase in value is a net increase — ie they just assumed that the costs of being in an HOA are capitalized in the home’s sale price. They also ignore the other costs of being in an HOA — financial and other — beyond monthly or annual assessments.

          Also, given my bias, I don’t trust anyone who states that homeowners in HOAs have “rights.” I think doing so reveals incredible ignorance on their part.

          * “The Cost of Conformity” Jeremy R. Groves. Northern Illinois University. February 7, 2006.

          HOAs can lead to an overall increase house value of 25%. But, and this is a big “but,” that’s not evenly distributed. Placing an un-common house style in an HOA increases its value by 19%, but most common-style homes lose about 8% of their value when placed in an HOA.

          Overall, HOAs lead to a statistically significant, but not economically significant, decrease in home value by 0.04% to 1.70%.

          * “Homeowner Association Foreclosures and Property Values in Harris County, 1985?2001” Christopher Adolph. Harvard University. October 21, 2002.

          Property values grow more slowly in HOAs with aggressive foreclosure policies, which are often targeted at poorer homeowners.

          After legislative and judicial changes in the 1980s and 1990s, HOA foreclosures doubling in a decade in Texas. As I noted in the other thread, at 6.30.10 @ 9:07AM , HOA foreclosures now account for about 10% of foreclosures.

          The Adolph family has been very active in collecting HOA foreclosure data in Texas.

          I’m not really qualified to judge the methodology of any of those studies. And I’d be interested in knowing if there have been others.

          Given what has happened in the past five years, which none of those studies account for, what I’d really like to know how HOAs have preserved property values while the rest of the housing market is in what is described as a “crisis.” Or have homeowners been giving up their property rights, ownership interests, and basic liberties for a false promise?

    3. Epic 2008 HOA battle. Every time I hear HOA I think of this.

      http://www.clublexus.com/forum…..e-car.html

  14. “Gun control now is nearly dead as an issue”

    I think it’s a little premature to celebrate. Nothing a little court packing won’t take care of. Though I do think the Dems learned their lession enough in 2000, that are not going to push it nationally again for a while but “They’ll be bock”.

    1. Preach it, Almighty.

      The Dems and the nannies haven’t changed their beliefs about guns, gun owners, and gun control one bit. They are just biding their time.

    2. And all they need is one more Justice to overturn Heller and rule that the 2nd amendment doesn’t exist (and no liberals will be harping about stare decisis).

    3. I think it’s a little premature to celebrate.

      More than a little.

      Yes, it’s nice the good guys have won these second amendment, but they are always 5-4, and our liberty hangs by a thread like a loose tooth.

      If one of the good guys gets replaced by one more of these New York City red diaper babies, we’ll lose everything that was gained in no time at all.

      1. Yes, it’s nice the good guys have won these second amendment, but they are always 5-4, and our liberty hangs by a thread like a loose tooth.

        Somebody needs to take care of treasonous justices who ignore constitutional protections.

        And you know of what I mean by taking care.

  15. At first I was like, “bah fuckum they are royalty.”

    Then I was like, “Son of a bitch they get less raises than our fucking congress.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Internat…..amp;page=1

    The 84-year-old queen receives 7.9 million pounds of public money each year to pay for staff and other costs, an amount that has not risen in 20 years

    1. Cromwell (re: Charles 1) had the right idea.

  16. An enormously potent piece up on the Second Amendment and how activism overturned the conventional wisdom, with lessons for the Tea Party movement at a time when the expansion of government seems not just inexorable and deeply entrenched in our political culture, but at times a sort of immutable natural law.

  17. now using covert e-mail lists to agree on how to slant their stories

    Now, as if this is new?

  18. Does anyone really pay attention to that torture supporting warmonger?

    /Jay

  19. Sheesh. Nobody has mentioned Columbine yet? The left thought they could exploit a national tragedy. What they didn’t expect is that energizing a national debate would backfire. NRA membership soared in the aftermath of the school shootings.

    1. Personally, I think it was the video of the cops cowering outside the building until they were sure it was perfectly safe (for them, at least) to go in.

      “Better ten dead children than one dead cop.”

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